Yijinjing(limbering-up exercises for the tendons) is still used today as a means of keeping fit and a therapeutic exercise for orthopetic exercise for orthopedic patients during convalescence. Just as the name impiles--Yi(limber up or strengthen) + Jin (tendons)+Jing (method)--the exercises are designed to strengthen flaccid and frail muscles and tendons. The movement of yijinjing are at once vigorous and gentle , and their performance calls for a unity of will and strength.

There are altogether 10 forms in this routine. Begin each form by looking straight ahead, clenching the teeth together tightly, opening the mouth slightly ( or keeping tightly) with the tongue resting on the hard palate . Do not exert force; do not throw out the chest or raise the shoulders; and stand up straight. Breathe naturally, remain relaxed, concentrate the attention on the navel, and swalow saliva when necessary. Be sure that each of these points is carried out throught the entire exercise. These basics will not be repeated when each forms is dealt with in detail below.

The main feature of this exercise is that all movements are excuted with the palms. At the beginning, each movement can be repeated eight or nine times. After a period of training, the number may be gradually increased to 30 or more according to one's physical condition.

Form 1 Respiration with Fists Clenched

Starting Position:
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Clench both fists with the knuckles facing forward and the tips of both thumbs pressed lightly against the thighs (Fig.1)
Mothod of Performing:
Use gentle abdominal respiration. When inhaling again, keep the fists clenches , and when exhalling, clench the fists more tightly than before. Repeat these movements.

Form 2 Respiration with Palms Pressing Downward

Starting Position:
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Press both palms downward with the fingers pointing sideways and the fingertrips turned up ward (Fig.2).
Method of Performing:
The method of breathing in and out is the same as in Form 1; but when breathing out, press the palms downward with inner strength (do not bend the legs) with the whole body vibrating intensely. When inhaling , keep the body taut, and when exhaling again, press the palms downward with more force and raise the fingertips upward as much as possible, with the body vibrating still more inatensely. Repeat these movements.

Form 3 Respiration with Palms Upward

Starting Position:
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Raise both arms to the side at shoulder height, with the palms truned upward(Fig.3)
Inhale to distend the lower abdomen to the full. When breathing out, concentrate on the palms as if they were holding up heavy weights. Every time you breathe out, exert more inner strength as if the weights on the palms were getting heavier and heavier (maintain the position of the palms). Repeat these movements.

Form 4 Respiration with Palms Extended Outward

Starting Position:
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Raise both arm to the side at shoulder hight, with the fingers pointing upward and the palms facing outward. Bend the fingertips towards the head as much as possible so that the palms extend outward (Fig.4)
Methods of Performing:
Method of breathing is the same as before. When exhaling , extend the palms outward with inner strength as if pushing something away, with the whole body vibrating intensly. Exert more force with each push so that you feel as if the palms were extending further and further outward. Repeat these movements.

Form 5 Open and Closed Respiration

Starting Position:
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Place the palms together in front of the chest, with the fingers turned upward and the tips of the thumbs pressed against the chest(fig. 5a).
Method of Performing:
When breating in, keep the elbows level and draw the palms slowly apart, with the thumbs pressed lightly against the chest, until they come to the sides of the armpits. Meanwhile the whole body vibrates intensely (Fig. 5b). When breathing out, the palms move slowly back to the starting position. The movements should be coordinated with the breathing, which should be slow, relaxed, and even. Repeat these movements.

Form 6 Respiration with one Hand Raised High and the Other Hanging Down

Starting Position:
Move the left foot a step to the left and bend the left leg at the knee, keeping the right leg fully extended. The body remains straight. Raise the left hand with the palm facing upward, while the right hand hangs naturally by the right side of the body with the fingertips pointing downward the the palm facing the thigh(Fig. 6a).
Method of Performing:
Throughout the breathing process, keep the position of the body unchanged. While breathing, extend both arms as fully as possible by exerting inner strength, and allow the whole body to vibrate intensely. Repeat these movements and relax naturally; then move the right foot a step to the right and do the exercises in this position. (Fig.6b).

Form 7 Respiration While Bening and Straightening

Starting Position:
Stand with feet about 40 cm apart.
Method of Performing:
Stretch the arms forward and raise them to shoulder level, with the arms ben slightly and the palms facing upward (Fig.7a). Then turn the palms downward (Fig.7b), at the same time squatting down slowly while keeping the trunk squatting down slowly while keeping the trunk erect. While repeating these movements , the degree of squatting may increase gradually untill the thighs are parallel to the ground (Fig. 7c) . Straighten up both legs slowly and turn the palm downward (Fig. 7d).
In this form, inhale when raising the hands and exhale when turning the palms downward and squatting. Repeat these movements.
Persistent practice of this form is benefical for the entire body, and for the waist and kidneys in particular.

Form 8 Respiration in Squatting Position

Starting Position:
Stand with feet sligtly more than shoulder-width apart. Place the hands behind the body with the right fist clenched and the left hand holding the right wrist (Fig. 8).
Method of Performing :
Bend the legs and squat down slightly. Maintain his position and breathe form the abdomen. When breathing in, distend the lower abdomen to the full; when breathing out, draw in the lower abdomen and contrate the anus as if trying to hold back the stool. Repeat these movements.
This form is similar to a standing form in qigong. It is useful in treating neurasthenia, hypertension and other ailments constant practice will help strengthen the lower limbs.

Form 9 Respiration in Bending Position

Starting Position:
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart (Fig.9a).
Method of Performing:
Bend over slowly to an angle of 90 degrees, at the same time letting the hands hang down naturally (Fig.9b). The shoulders should vibrate slightly as the hands continue to drop , with the palms turned inward and fingertips pointing downward . Do not exert any strength with the hands. Inhale when bending forward and exhale when straightening up. Repeat these movements. This form will help reduce excess fat in the abdomen and cure lumbago and backache.

Form 10 Respiration While Twisting the Body

Starting Position:
Stand at attention.
Method of Performing:
Move the left foot a step to the left. Twist the body to the left, placing the left and on the lower backe with the palm facing outward. Bend the right arm to form an arch and place it over the forehead, with the palm facing outward, about a fist's distance away from the forehead. fix the vision on the right heel. Gradually twist the waist further around, and try to breathe from the abdomen (Fig.10a)
Repeat the above movements, twisting to the right and the left alternatively (Fig.10b).
Persistent practice of this form will help prevent and cure lumbago and backache.

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